False bay

three things I love about my favourite city

Cape Town. The Mother City. Crouching beneath the majestic backdrop of Table Mountain in the south-west corner of Africa. Once a tiny stopover for fresh supplies along the trading route between Europe and the Far East, now a buzzing metropolis where the Rainbow Nation welcome visitors with open arms and huge smiles, lots of good food and great wine. You haven’t been there? What are you waiting for?

What do I love most about this city ?

1. The Views

View to Cape Point
View to Cape Point

whether it be the sensational all round city and peninsula views you get from taking a cable car ( or climbing if you have the energy) up to the top of Table Mountain, the dizzying view of the coast from the impressive 9km Chapman Peak Drive, with its 114 curves,  where you literally hang off the cliff or the wide-open view of False Bay from Boyes Drive down in the Cape Peninsula, you cannot get enough of the scenic landscapes that this city has to offer. It must be one of the most scenically situated cities in the world.

2. The Beaches

Table Mountain
Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand

now personally I can think of nothing worse than lying on a beach and baking in the sun, but I know many people do like to do that and Cape Town  has the most incredible beautiful beaches all around – it is on a peninsula – so you get northern beaches where the wind whips the sand into a frenzy, so perhaps best suited to wind-surfing than sun-bathing; the western beaches which are on the frigid Atlantic coastline so these attract the ‘in’ people who strut their stuff along Camps Bay or Clifton, occasionally playing Frisbee, or volley-ball or more likely be supping bold espressos in the bars lining the beachfront (that’s if you can get parking) OR the fabulous Indian Ocean beaches where the water is warmer and when the surf is up is filled with surfing dudes, wind-surfers, kite-surfers (they stay on the sand not the water) and people like me, who just want a long beach to stroll along. And then there’s the penguins. Now tell me, where else in the world can you visit a beach with resident penguins? And not freeze.

3. Nature

Ostriches at Cape of Good Hope

even in the heart of the city you will find the Company’s Gardens. Once literally an allotment where fruit and vegetables were grown to feed the visiting traders, now a little oasis in the city bowl. A serene place to wander through, full of trees and plants, European squirrels and native birds. And the view of that mountain behind you. No-one should come to Cape Town and not wander through this garden. And if you are not a fan of gardens then this is where you will find the ‘Tuynhuys‘ which is used by the President on state occasions (and not open to the public), the ‘Delville Wood Memorial’ and the ‘Rutherfoord Fountain’. This area is known as ‘Museum Mile’ in that the vast majority of Cape Town’s museums are concentrated into the same small space around Government Avenue including the South African Museum and National Gallery and The Iziko Slave Lodge which lies just outside the entrance.

Cheeky Grey Squirrel
Cheeky Grey Squirrel

A little further south is Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. A must see. And you can climb up to the top of Table Mountain from here up through Skeleton Gorge. If that is too much, then feel free to wander around the acres of native flora – proteas, restios, pelargoniums. Did I tell you that the Cape is home to more than 9,000 plant species? No? Well it is.

Table Mountain
Table Mountain from Kirstenbosch

And finally, the Cape Point reserve. Where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet and the waters surge and crash together making it one of the world’s most dangerous routes to navigate round. The reserve is full of the fynbos that the Cape is known for, it is also home to ostrich, kudu and sable antelope, and baboons. Watch out for the baboons!

Baboon at Cape Point

So that’s that. My favourite city and three reasons why I like it. No make that LOVE it. Cape Town. The pearl in the African Crown.

Accor Hotels are running a competition to find your favourite city. Cape Town is mine. Which one is yours?


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I live in the UK, but when I was younger I spent several years travelling the world followed by a period living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

68 thoughts on “three things I love about my favourite city”

  1. OK- sold on Capetown! Great shots, and a passionate argument. I might go for something less exotic. I will have to think about it for a while though.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  2. I’m sold!! South Africa has been on my wish list for many years. You’ve managed to solidify my desire to go there even more!!
    I did not know about the penquins … this could be a major selling point to Husband. He has a ‘thing’ for penquins 🙂

  3. What a convincingly great post, Jude. Cape Town was never on my list ( opposite direction, so to say 🙂 ) but you never know … Enjoyed this visit very much indeed. Siri and Selma wants to replace some seals with penguins now … 😉
    Wishing you a great new week, all Four of us,

      1. Siri and Selma love their fayriepost! ❤ 🙂
        The grey squirrel looks so cute, but I wish they had kept this species down under and over there. Do you have so many around where you live too? We have one in the garden, (severals actually), but one is like a hoover, he doesn't leave a trace of anything for the birds, no matter how well we secure it. North Norfolk has a sanctuary for the red squirrels, they have no chance with the ratty grey pack around. Well this was totally off the topic, sorry.

        1. Actually this grey squirrel is Indigenous to the Eastern and Midwestern USA, so also imported into South Africa via Europe! It’s not considered invasive there though as its natural habitat is different to the native squirrel which is not a tree squirrel, but a ground squirrel.

          I agree it is a shame that the red squirrel suffers from the disease these chaps carry, as they are both lovely creatures and I like to see them both.

        2. Oh, I didn’t know this, I only heard the grey one has been imported to the UK. I think the problem is, this grey one is so much stronger (and greedier), the much more shy red ones stand no chance against it. Did you notice all the signs on the trails in The Lake District; “please contact us if you see the grey squirrel”?
          (I must admit I have to smile, but only with one eye, when I watch him, he’s like a monkey) 🙂

  4. Fantastic images, Jude. Yes, I agree with you. Cape Town is a beautiful city. I often wish that we could have stopped right there when our ship landed in 1970, instead of taking the train up to Johannesburg. 🙂 Good luck with the competition.

    1. Don’t mention Johannesburg. I lived there too, but I don’t have fond memories of that city. And I don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning Sylvia as even if selected in the short-list the winner is done by voting through tweets and retweets and I don’t do twitter. But I had fun 🙂

      1. Well, as long as you had fun with your post, Jude, that’s the most important thing. 🙂 I have a twitter account, and sometimes post my blog post on it, but I really don’t understand how it works. 🙂

  5. OMG those beaches !! Sign me up. I knew virtually nothing about Cape Town or South Africa until I met you and Susan Scott. Now I relish reading and seeing such beautiful sights.

        1. Yes, just avoid the school and university holidays or else you will find the coast a nightmare. The shoulder seasons are very good. We went in April and had brilliant weather for the majority of the time and it was easy to get into restaurants too.

  6. What a fabulous tour I’ve had Jude, thank you! I haven’t been to South Africa but I’ve been a little north of there, maybe one day if I win the lottery!
    Your ostrich photo is magic and I’d also love to see penguins on the beach. Like you nothing would possess me to lie down and do the sun bathing thing – we have so much in common! I entered the competition and read the rules afterwards. I have a twitter account and my blog is linked to it but that’s all so even if there wasn’t incredible competition like your post I have no chance either. Never mind, I finally posted on Marrakech.

    1. Thanks Gilly! I enjoyed visiting Marrakech with you. So many of these competitions depend on social media and with people having thousands of followers to retweet I’m afraid I am well out of the running. By a little bit north do you mean Namibia? And actually South Africa is very cheap for us Brits.

  7. Jude I have enjoyed many of the posts including this one of South Africa. I must say the photo of the ostriches is a real jaw dropper. Love the feel of being there watching them saunter.

    1. They were lovely to watch, though I was a bit nervous when they came rather close to me, they have big feet! I always think they are wearing tutus 😀

    1. The header? That’s where I used to live. I guess that beach is the reason why I can’t find a place to live here. I loved that beach (except in December when it was invaded by Joeys!!)

  8. You have really captured the atmosphere and uniqueness of Cape Town. It sounds to be a perfect place to visit and your images are so good especially the ostriches strutting along, they almost flounce don’t they with their, as you put it, tutus bouncing.

  9. I am not entering as such. I do have a Twitter account, but other than posting my blog, it is comparable to hieroglyphics mainly. I discounted the obvious. London, (where I am from) Barcelona, (love it, but too busy) and settled on Singapore. Here are my three reasons.
    1) Cultural diversity. It is all there. Singaporean, Malay, Thai, Chinese, Indian, and some Old Colonial too.
    2) Eating out, especially Clarke Quay. The best Thai meal I ever ate, and the best Chinese food too. Huge choice, great riverside location. Magical at night.
    3) Sentosa Island. Over by cable car, an afternoon exploring, rounded off by sipping a Singapore Sling at a beach bar on the southernmost point of Asia, watching the sunset.
    I always felt safe there, travelling around was easy, and it is lovely and clean too.
    I must go back one day, if I ever have enough money for the flight…x

    1. Oh, yes, good choice Pete. I enjoyed our 3 day stopover there a decade ago. The quayside has changed dramatically in recent years and it would be well worth a re-visit.

    1. The squirrels in the Company’s Garden are very tame, they will come up and eat peanuts from out of your hand so it was quite easy to get a clear shot.

  10. Your love is there in every sentence, Jude, and you’ve convinced us all. Now… time to find a beach like that in the UK 🙂 I’m sure we can persuade a penguin or two from London Zoo to take up residence.

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